While Hurricane Sandy left a path of destruction along the Jersey Shore and the upper East Coast, West Deptford and neighboring towns were fortunate to only sustain minimal damage, if any. Yet, for West Deptford resident Mark Rossi and his Woodbury-based business A Taste of Philly Pretzel Bakery, recovery for the rest of New Jersey is now a main focus.
“We would like to see all residents get back on their feet”, said Rossi, referring to those who were hit harder by Hurricane Sandy.
Earlier last week, Rossi donated pretzels from his bakery to a friend who drove up to Red Bank. Once in the area the friend handed out the pretzels, along with bottled water and cupcakes, to PSE&G workers.
As if tasty fresh baked pretzels weren’t enough, Rossi is finding another way to give back to those affected by the storm. Sponsored by Independence Wealth Strategies in Marlton, Rossi’s business, along with several others are teaming up to bring relief to those affected by the hurricane.
From now until the end of next week, A Taste of Philly Pretzel Bakery will be accepting food, clothing, and other various items to donate to the Salvation Army and the NJ Food Bank. The bakery is one of four locations accepting donations on behalf of this drive.
“We are trying to do all we can,” said Rossi.
Rossi got involved in the drive after a high school buddy, Michael DeFoney, reached out to him. Along with Rossi, DeFoney reached out to several friends in order to promote the drive in their places of business.
“Everybody is coming together and doing what they can, so it’s a good turnout,” said Amie Haigh, who works with DeFoney as a financial service representative at Independence Wealth Strategies, an office of MetLife.
Haigh said the company is always looking to participate in charities throughout the year and since some many of their clients live by the shore, a Hurricane Sandy relief effort just seemed like the right way to give back to the community. Haigh said after only a week, the Marlton office is filling quickly with donated clothing and blankets. However, Haigh maintained that they could always use more food, cleaning products, and diapers.
Haigh and others from Independence Wealth Strategies will be making rounds next Saturday to each participating business and transporting the donations to where they need to go.
Even after the week is out, residents are still welcomed to drop donations off at the bakery, Rossi added.
“We would be open to any donation in the next few weeks, we’ll make sure it gets where it needs to go,” he said.
As far as items go, the bakery is accepting blankets, coats/jackets, scarves, flashlights, D cell batteries, hand sanitizer and diapers. Food items including granola bars, juice boxes, breakfast bars, baby formula, various canned items and cereal will also be accepted as well.
Residents can drop off any donations from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Rossi explains all donated items will be stored in the vacant building adjacent to the bakery. A Taste of Philly is located at 53 S. Broad St. in Woodbury and can be reached at 856-686-0080.
Additional drop-off sites are available between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Please see below for additional drop-off information:
- Indian Springs Country Club - 115 S. Elmwood Rd. Marlton, NJ 08053
- Pennsauken Country Club - 3800 Haddonfield Rd. Pennsauken, NJ 08109
- Independence Wealth Strategies - 401 Rt. 73 N. Suite 100 Marlton, NJ 08053 (available on Saturdays from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., but must call Amie prior to drop-off at 856-355-4379.)